Today's 4-3 victory might be the leader in the clubhouse for strangest game of the season; this based on the eighth inning alone.
First things first: the odd sight of Mariano Rivera coming into the game and then leaving it in the bottom of the eighth, was a case of bench coach Tony Pena changing his mind, he siad.
Pena told the bullpen he wanted Rivera, then signaled with his left hand, and for Damaso Marte, on his way to the mound.
"My instinct," Pena said.
Earlier he said simply: "“On the way out, I just changed my mind."
Rivera was looking for an explanation at the time but smiled about it afterward.
"We got to have a good laugh,” Rivera said. “And we won the game.”
*** The top of the inning featured Joe Girardi getting thrown out for the second time this season, irate over what he felt -- and was -- a bad check-swing call on Nick Swisher. Girardi threw his cap to the ground before leaving the dugout to get between Swisher and Bruce Dreckman and had an idea he'd be returning an ejected manager.
“I was really frustrated by that call because that’s a big call in that game,” Girardi said.
It all worked out, of course, as the Yankees scored four times in the inning.
*** Javier Vazquez was the best he's been all season and even the most rabit Javy Haters have to, you would think, tip their caps to him after holding the Blue Jays lineup to one hit, albeit a big one, in seven innings. In large part because of an outstanding changeup, Vazquez struck out a season-best nine.
“The last few starts I’ve been feeling much better with my command and the way my pitches are moving,” Vazquez said. “I feel good I could do it against an offense like the Blue Jays’.”
*** Alex Rodriguez was removed from the game in the bottom of the ninth because of tightness in his right groin, but he attributed that to playing 14 innings Saturday on the hard Rogers Centre turf and then most of today.
“It’s fine now,” Rodriguez said. “I’ll be ready to go on Tuesday.”
And with that, it's off to Baltimore. A reminder: we'll do a Live Chat tomorrow (Monday) morning at 11. Come on by.